NuWilshire currently an eyesore in Santa Monica

posted by Nushboy07 on April 15, 2008 at 3:50 pm

SANTA MONICA, CA — One of the oldest theatres in Santa Monica, the NuWilshire has been closed since November 2007. As of now, nothing has changed, and it still is just a great theatre, with the soul gone.

It is hard to believe that this time last year, the theatre was filled with happy moviegoers, ready to see a good independent film. However now, it is just a block of nothing. When looking at it, all I see is a reminder of what once was…and is now just a vacant building covered in graffiti and trashed, with a gate across the entrance so as not to allow homeless to sleep under the marquee.

A few months ago, after hearing about how the front of the theatre became a city landmark, I have yet to see anything touched on it. I will keep you posted on any new information I have on the status of this great place!

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Comments (10)

William on April 15, 2008 at 4:03 pm

When you mix the city and landmarking of the building. It may take a much longer time frame to get any real work done to the building by the owner.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on April 15, 2008 at 8:31 pm

The same problem occurred with San Francisco’s ROYAL THEATRE on Polk Street. Ted Nasser, the owner (also Castro & Alhambra Theatre’s) suddenly closed the place.
The projector lamp had hardly enough time to cool down when the homeless bums moved into the outer lobby, unloading their bowels and leaving trash everywhere. To add to the theater’s tragic demise, the idiot graffiti clowns left their revolting trade mark on the doors and poster cases.
My wife and I often made two or three trips a week to remove the stinking trash and so-called artistic (ha!) work.
Finally, Mr. Nasser, who refused my generous offer to re-opening the Royal, as an all British film center, sealed off the front to the vagrants. Not too long after that the demolition crew added this lovely place to the massive list of San Francisco theaters that had “gone with the wind.”

moviebuff82 on April 15, 2008 at 8:36 pm

This is like the same thing that happened with some theaters in New Jersey. Right now the Tenplex is the biggest moviegoing eyesore, as well as the old Franklin Triplex which still stands there and where the HQ of the mayor of Nutley is right above the theater, which only has the sign damaged.

BobFurmanek on April 16, 2008 at 12:22 am

I’m pretty sure the interior of the Franklin has been gutted to the brick walls.

markp on April 16, 2008 at 3:16 am

I’m not sure, but is the Fabian in Paterson N.J. still sitting there rotting away? And what about the Montauk in Passaic N.J., another one I think is rotting away as well.

comicalcupcake on April 16, 2008 at 4:14 am

So sad! I hope the owner rots in… a hot Beverly Hills summer. If he wanted a jeans store, he shouldn’t have bought a movie theater!

historiccinemas on April 16, 2008 at 5:11 am

The owner of the property did not renew Landmark’s lease on the property. Something else will be moving into the building. The building is empty after landmark sold equipment.

Nushboy07 on April 16, 2008 at 2:10 pm

Yeah, we sure did give it away as fast as you can say “movies”.

Edward Havens
Edward Havens on April 17, 2008 at 12:42 am

Fact of the matter is, any owner of a theatre building will continue to support that theatre’s existence as long as they feel it is bringing in the highest amount of revenue possible. We are losing many of these single screen theatres nationwide (whether they remained single screens or were converted to multiple screens) because they simply cannot generate the revenue needed for them to survive, and we’re going to continue to see these theatres fall to the wayside for years to come.

I loved the NuWilshire as much as anyone. It was my home for two years, and I did everything I could (sometimes against the wishes of my superiors at Landmark) to make our customers feel we cared about them and were grateful they were coming to our theatre instead of the AMC Century 14 or Laemmle Sunset 5 (the two theatres we most often shared product with while I was there). I got there just after Landmark ended its one year experiment as a programmed calendar (a companion to the Nuart) and made it a first-run arthouse. I would have loved to do those calendars, and having been there when the 1994 Northridge Earthquake hit and closed us down for three months, I would have loved to see them knock that fucking wall down and turn it back into a single.

But it was not meant to be.

If Landmark hadn’t taken the theatre when Mann exited in 1992, we wouldn’t be sitting here lamenting its 2007 shuttering.

We’d have lost it then.

Be thankful we got another 15 years with the theatre, and make sure you thank her for all those wonderful additional memories every time you pass by her.

Nushboy07 on April 17, 2008 at 1:17 am

The first film I saw there was 1999’s Blair Witch Project. And being someone who hasn’t worked there, or been inside there for the next eight years, I have strong feelings for this place. Once I came there, it was like another home to me. I’m glad it lasted well passed 1994, however it would have been easier to cope with it’s changes had it been destroyed from the earthquake and not just a dead house. And considering the possibility of it becoming a theatre again, I highly doubt it.

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